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Part of the drug rehab process is to know how long a particular substance stays in your system. The presence of which can make a person more vulnerable to relapse during the course of their drug addiction treatment. For drug rehabilitation to be effective, certain steps have to be taken to ensure long-term recovery.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug – at least, in places where it is still considered illegal to “smoke a joint” for recreational or medical purposes. In spite of its proven benefits and legal status in many U.S. states, marijuana is just like any other drug. It can be abused and lead to drug addiction, which will then require you to undergo a drug addiction program.

Studies show that 30 percent of Americans who used the drug developed some kind of marijuana use disorder. The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHA) has a more humble estimate where only 1 out of 10 people who use marijuana actually become addicted to the drug.

Teenagers have a greater risk for marijuana addiction. According to SAMHA, about 1 in 6 people who started using it before the age of 18 grew up to develop it.

The Effects of Marijuana and its Importance in Drug Rehab


Marijuana is a drug derived from the cannabis plant. It can alter your mood, behavior, perception, level of consciousness, and cognitive performance. Ultimately, it affects the brain and how it functions.

Some common symptoms of marijuana use are:

  • Changed perception and sense of time
  • Difficulty concentrating and thinking
  • Impaired short-term memory
  • Feelings of euphoria or “high”

Marijuana use also leads to physical symptoms such as increased appetite, poor body coordination, dryness of the mouth, swollen eyes, and relaxation. When taken in large doses, it triggers delusions and hallucinations.

These symptoms can be attributed to a cannabinoid called delta-9-hydrocannabinol or simply THC. It is the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Most of these symptoms occur with short-term use. However, prolonged exposure to marijuana has been linked to more serious complications like impaired cognitive ability and an increased risk for mental illness.

Drug addiction treatment can help you curb the long-term effects of marijuana addiction.

How long do you have to wait for marijuana to take effect?

THC has to be absorbed into the bloodstream before its effects can kick in. The faster it happens, the quicker the results.

When you smoke weed, the THC is almost instantly absorbed into your blood. Because of this, the effects can be felt within minutes after smoking. Marijuana that is taken orally has to undergo digestion. So it won’t be until 20 minutes to an hour before you will start feeling its effects.

How long does a marijuana high last?

How long you stay high will depend on numerous factors. Things such as how it was taken (smoked or ingested), the strain of cannabis (i.e. sativa, indica), the amount, and the quality of the drug used can all influence the duration of its symptoms. Generally speaking, the effects of marijuana can last anywhere from one to three hours, or up to 24 hours.

How long does marijuana stay in your body?

Overcoming a high doesn’t mean that a drug is totally out of your system. It can linger well after its effects are gone. How long it stays depends on its half-life or the time it takes to eliminate half of the drug.

With marijuana use, the body breaks down the cannabinoids into metabolites and stores them in fat cells. THC alone produces 80 different metabolites. Some of these metabolites have a half-life of 20 hours while others have 10 to 13 days.

It takes 5 to 6 half-lives for a substance to be almost completely eliminated from the body. Considering the half-life of THC metabolites, this means that marijuana can stay in your system for up to 78 days since the last time you smoked or ingested it. During which time, you can test positive for marijuana use.

Undergoing detox and drug rehabilitation will remove the marijuana from your system.

Blood and saliva test

Doctors rarely order a blood test to check for marijuana. That’s because it doesn’t stay too long in the bloodstream.

They might order a blood or saliva test, but it can only assess if a person is currently intoxicated – not the degree of intoxication. These can turn out inaccurate as they might give a ‘false negative’ even if it has only been a few hours since the last use.

Urine test

The urine can also be tested for marijuana. Unfortunately, it can only indicate recent use but not the level of intoxication or impairment.

Hair test

Cannabinoids are stored in hair so it can be tested as well. However, the hair test is only accurate for people who use marijuana daily or almost every day. Those who take it less often may register a false negative.

The Dangers of Marijuana Addiction

Long-term exposure to marijuana causes THC to build up in the body. But it’s not just a positive drug test that you should worry about.

Cannabis as a gateway drug

Studies suggest that repeated marijuana use changes the brain and how it responds to “hard drugs” like opiates. Basically, it makes you more receptive to their effects, which could then lead to addictive behaviour.

Teenagers have a greater risk for drug addiction. Early exposure to marijuana affects the brain’s reward system, making teens more susceptible to substance abuse disorders later in life.

Cannabis withdrawal

People who use large amounts of marijuana for an extended period have it worse. Research shows they can experience cannabis withdrawal syndrome within weeks of quitting. It is characterized by anxiety, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, nausea, general weakness, sweating, and stomach pain.

While not essentially dangerous, cannabis withdrawal can make it impossible to sustain lasting recovery. 

Marijuana Use and Long Beach Drug Rehab

Long-term marijuana use poses dangers to one’s physical, mental, and emotional health. The only way you can break this cycle is by seeking drug addiction treatment.

Drug rehab in Long Beach offers numerous benefits including:

  1. Preventing marijuana abuse from progressing into full-blown drug addiction.
  2. Helping you cope with cannabis withdrawal so you can more easily transition into recovery.
  3. Minimizing the risks associated with prolonged use of marijuana.
  4. Convenient access to drug rehabilitation near Long Beach, CA.

Marijuana may be legally acceptable in some states. But like any drug, it can be abused. At Roots Through Recovery, we give patients the opportunity to recover from marijuana addiction. That is why we offer drug rehab in Long Beach as well as sober living options. Visit 3939 Atlantic Ave, Suite 102 Long Beach, CA 90807 or call (866) 766-8776 for immediate assistance.